Indian Hockey, Iam talking about a sport which won the first olympic medal in 1928....four years before cricket got its official status in the country. Indian Cricket won its first world cup in 1983.....till that time Indian hockey had 11 olympic medals and a world cup in 1975 only.India won 8 medals at the olympics in a row,and the record stands till date unbroken.
But then what happened to the game..what happened to its players....and what happened to the country men .Hockey got registered as a national game in the books but failed to register as a national game in our minds .In 2008 Indian Hockey Federation's Chief got into a corruption scandal and the federation was dissolved .....And today the condition is that a month prior to the World Cup the players have stood against Hockey India to pay their dues or they won't practice.
14 months before the Cricket World Cup a pitch in the country was declared unfit for playing and we all know how much importance was that given by the media , by the government , and by the people. Iam not against the game of cricket , a good score by Sachin makes my day also pleasant but I feel that the game of Hockey also demands its due respect.
Now who is responsible for the death of the game......Players , Media , Federation. Players-I dont think they are the one to be blamed I feel Dhyan Chand also played the game with the same passion as Sachin does. Media is a follower it will start covering gilli danda matches also the day you start promoting it. I believe poor administration is the reason why people lost interest in the game.
But what is happening right now is not a pleasant scene. I met a girl who was once the member of a national hockey team and I asked her why do you stopped playing she replied "there is no future in it". . I believe that the players should also relaize that they are playing for the game and they are playing because they have a passion for it. And these issues can also be solved once the World Cup gets over. And the Sports Ministry should realize that its not only passion and patriotism which fills in the stomach of a player but he too needs money.
I hope the crisis to stop quickly ..not for the sake of players , not for the sake of the World Cup, and neither do I sympathise with Mr. Matoo who openly declared that he does not have enough money for the players to play. But for the sake of the game coz its the game ultimately who is losing